I was 19.
I was studying under another university
as an external student
and I was taking what was called telecoms,
a four-year course
but I learnt to my horror
that I've gotta be called up.
I didn't have less than 18 months to go.
Now, I could have waited to be called up,
but father was in the infantry in the First World War
at the first, second and third battles of the Somme.
That nearly killed him.
It nearly killed everybody
and Passchendaele where he was captured
by the Germans and gassed
which lasted throughout all his life,
a POW for a year
and I thought I'm not going to the bloody army,
sorry, I shouldn't use that language on an interview
and I was determined I wouldn't,
so I was already a radio amateur,
built my own transmitter and all that stuff
when I was at school
and so, I toddled along to the RAF recruiting officers
and said look, I can read Morse,
I wanna be a wireless operator.
So, that was all right.